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UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007)

The Value of Green Marketing Education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Andrew J. Gilbert Faculty Sponsor: Stephen Brokaw, Department of Marketing ABSTRACT
A “Green” business activity can be defined as any business activity that is performed in a way so that it has either limited negative ecological impact or it directly benefits the natural environment in some way. The purpose of this paper is to examine the recent trends in green marketing and green business, provide insight into the future of green marketing, and assess the value that students and faculty at UW-L place upon green marketing. It will go on to recommend what changes could be made to the marketing curriculum at UW-L in order to prepare students for a business world that is placing an increasing amount of emphasis on green practices.

A “Green” business activity can be defined as any business activity that is performed in a way so that it has either limited negative ecological impact or it directly benefits the natural environment in some way. The common criticisms of green business are that it is more expensive than conventional business and that the benefits that the company derives from green practices do not outweigh the costs associated with them. It has been a recent trend in the media to tout the value of green business. This has been accompanied by stories about what many companies are currently doing to become greener. Media vehicles such as Fortune, BusinessWeek, Time, Business 2.0, Outside, USA Today, and multiple other magazines, newspapers, websites and books have been giving an increasingly large amount of attention to green businesses. Two separate schools of thought have emerged regarding this sudden surge in green business coverage. The first is that green business is a fad that will pass. The second is that green business is a trend that has been emerging for years and has only recently received the attention that it deserves. This school of thought insists that not only is green business environmentally friendly, it is also good business that will result in increased long-term growth. This study will provide a history of green business as well as explore the phenomenon of the recent green boom to determine if it is a passing fad or if we are in the midst of a “green revolution.” (Crane and Peattie, 2005) It will also assess the value that University of Wisconsin- La Crosse (UW-L) students and faculty place upon green business practices and will determine if said practices receive enough emphasis in the current College of Business Administration (CBA) curriculum. If a need for further inclusion in the curriculum is identified, recommendations will be made as to where the University should make changes. Terminology In order to fully grasp the contents of this study, a few terms must be identified and defined. First, the researcher will use the terms green business practices and green marketing frequently in this report. For the purposes of this study, these terms are interchangeable and can both be used to classify business activities performed with the specific intent to minimize the ecological and environmental impact that they have. The only point of difference is that green business practices can be applied on a more general scale throughout business, while green marketing usually deals with the environmental impact of producing, pricing and advertising a product. The term “environmentally friendly” will also be used throughout the study and can be thought of as something that does not damage the environment or works to help it in some way. The concept of sustainability will be addressed in this study. This is the ultimate goal of green business practices and reflects the idea that business should operate at a level that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland, 1987). Sustainable businesses operate so that they have little or no negative impact on the environment. Examples of negative impacts are taking resources out of the environment that cannot be replaced or creating waste that cannot be returned safely into the natural environment.


were used by the firm. the volume of green print ads increased by 430 per cent while the volume of green TV ads grew by 367 per cent (Ottman. green selling. Often. 1993). The five main approaches used by businesses were: green spinning. and compliance marketing. Instead. Green harvesting was the result of companies reducing the amount of packaging used in their products while cutting energy usage at the same time. no processes or standards were in place to authenticate the green claims of businesses. though many consumers were concerned for the environment. but promoted their business as green. tourism. 1997). It is not surprising that this green marketing approach failed due to the fact that no green practices. enviropreneur marketing. Green spinning occurs when a company. This occurred when a company operated at the level of environmental responsibility mandated by the government. The product may have performed the same task. often with a quality that was less than what a consumer expected from a conventional product. Because the products themselves remained premium or specialty products. 1997) and “green is in. other than those that have been mandated. Green products still remained priced at a premium and were served almost exclusively to niche markets. Examples of these are Ark. In their article “Green Marketing: Legend. green marketing was receiving a great deal of attention as consumers began to shift consumption habits in favor of greener products. Green products continued to grow in select markets such as food. a failure to understand or properly educate customers resulted in the failure of enviropreneurs. 1995). Green products tended to be sold at a premium. but often did so in a way that was unexpected to the customer. In the late 1990s. it failed to change the business’ production. While this approach may have placed the company in a better light in the eyes of the public. Myth. or companies that seek to bring innovative green products to the market (Menon and Menon. They state that in the late 1980s and early 1990s. but those same benefits often never made their way to the consumer. their widespread acceptance was hampered. no questions about it” (Iyer and Banarjee. However.4 per cent of all new household products between 1989 and 1990. or at least were not as successful as the trend emerging today. It was the opinion of many market analysts that the “green market appears to be real and growing. Ecover. few were willing to base their purchasing habits upon it (Mintel. Allocating resources into a PR campaign also made those same resources unavailable for instituting policies that will actually change the operations of the firm to be more environmentally friendly. Though they produced products in a very environmentally safe way. This approach often led to consumers mistrusting green products due to false advertising or promotions. The introduction of green products in the U. Because of this. This approach was often used in an adversarial way and attempted to discredit or deny those who disagreed with the environmental practices of the firm. the trend in green consumption seemed to be declining. These efforts were initially successful but were characterized by disconnectedness between their production processes and the wants and needs of their customers. however. usually one who receives criticism for its environmental impact. Many firms positioned their products using false or misleading information. policies. environmentally friendly soaps do not “bubble” due to their lack of cosmetic (and polluting) sudsers. or processes. Farce or Prophesy?” authors Ken Peattie and Andrew Crane describe past manifestations of green marketing and provide reasons as to why they failed. sections. 1993). those same products often failed to meet the specifications required by their customer. Tom’s of Maine. some firms promoted the absence of CFCs in their products as a benefit to the customer. but failed to bring about widespread organizational change. and the Body Shop. Green selling is similar to green spinning in that no organizational changes are made. 1993).Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) History The current surge in green business is not the first emergence of “green” into the public eye.” (Menon and Menon.4 per cent in 1991 (Ottman. These practices provided many benefits to the organization. In the same time period. the company adjusted its promotional campaigns to include the environmental features of current products. It is the opinion of the authors that the previous surge in green marketing failed because the marketing approaches used at the time were flawed. and grew to 13. For example. and financial services. more than doubled to 11. implements a strong public relations (PR) campaign to demonstrate that they are environmentally friendly.S. Enviropreneurs are described as individuals. but failed to make clear that CFCs are illegal due to regulation. green harvesting. 2 . For example. consumers who were used to bubbles tended to think that the soap did not perform as well as conventional products. Compliance marketing is the final approach that was frequently used in the 1990s. It was shown that. Businesses began marketing their greener sides in an attempt to capitalize on this growing trend.

a $1. and reprocessed to be turned into new machines. No actions or policies at any part of the company or its supply chain can compromise the eco-performance of products. The repopularization of the classic farmers’ market is a good example of this. maintenance. or products themselves. produces computers that are 100 per cent recyclable (Fortune. to create environmental improvements through their use. The last part of this element is the development or rediscovery of alternative forms of production or consumption. Consumers buy these types of products not only because of the value that the product provides. where services are increasingly substituted for goods.000 and grossing $91. In Seattle alone. 2005). Businesses could take a cue from this type of organization in their quest to become sustainable. it is important that the company involves the full use of all its resources. The thought behind this move was that consumers would buy Timberland shoes because the processes and materials involved in their production are less harmful to the environment than those of many competitors. or creating positive environmental impact by disposing of the product. 2005). reduced service or maintenance. a green marketing approach must have a long-run perspective. but also for the value that the production process itself provides. a high-tech company employing more than 156. Hewlett-Packard. the manner in which the product is produced becomes a part of the product’s identity. and be innovative” (Crane and Peattie. Each of these changes will be discussed and a current example of each will be provided in order to demonstrate that all of the elements necessary for a “green revolution” are already present in the market. attitudes. have a long-run perspective. The third element is an emphasis on the benefits derived from product use rather than product ownership. This type of innovation can provide value to the customer through things such as improved product longevity. The second element is the willingness to change markets as well as changing products. If a product or service is not able to fill the unmet need of a customer as well as appeal to them it will not be a success. The first element needing to be changed is redefining the product to “encompass the means of production and the broader activities of the producer” (Crane and Peattie. Apr 2007).7 billion last year. The authors suggested that green businesses should go beyond long-term and become “open-ended. Apr 2007). This can also be seen as taking a holistic approach to becoming green.000 members which represents over 3% of that city’s population.6 billion fortune 1000 company. This is difficult because many green practices have a longer pay-back period than conventional methods. For example. This Seattle based company operates a car-sharing program whereby members can use vehicles of varying types for small hourly rates. These labels detail where and how the shoes were made as well as how much energy was used in the process (Outside. recently began a policy of attaching “nutrition labels” to every shoebox.S. resorted into materials. Secondly. Finally. It must “start with the customer. involve the full use of all the company’s resources. Not only will they reclaim their own machines.flexcar. the authors went on to identify a few main features that comprise a successful green marketing strategy. Green Business Today The authors of “Green Marketing…” provide a list of marketing “thought and practice” that will need to be reshaped in order for green marketing to be widespread and successful in the future. starting with the customer is crucial.” They must realize that the benefits derived from a practice will not necessarily be immediate. and alternative forms of production and consumption are created or rediscovered” (Crane and Peattie. and knowledge is the starting point for any marketing This is where the idea of cooperative ownership fits into green marketing. It is as simple as reserving a vehicle for a certain amount of time. Coverage plans include costs associated with gasoline. The thing that differentiates a green practice is that it can become sustainable. While pursuing this open ended approach. a firm should work to develop innovative products. and ongoing nature of the consumption results in the success of the producer. 2005). A specific example of this type of consumption is exemplified by Timberland. as identifying their needs. The most prevalent examples of this are organic or fair-trade goods.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) Green Success While none of the above methods provided an effective approach to green marketing success. CEO. cities. they will take back any brand of machine given to them. the company has over 15. A sustainable economy will require “new types of market in which material flows become more circular through product take-back and recycling. The vehicle will be waiting for the user at a designated parking area nearest to their home and will be made available to them for the duration of their reservation. the cost associated with running it has become marginalized. Farmers’ markets directly connect producers and consumers. yet the value that is derived from it remains. An example of a company built upon the benefits of product use is Flexcar (http://www. and cleaning. insurance. melted. The program is targeted specifically at city drivers and currently operates in nine different U. beliefs. The cars are dispersed throughout the city to allow for maximum convenience. The reclaimed computers are then taken apart. packaging is nonexistent or negligible. It is becoming fairly common for the production of products. Essentially. Jeff Swartz. 3 . First.

It is a common practice for companies to “shelter behind the idea that they are essentially the passive servant of consumers and their desires” (Crane and Peattie. not necessarily around the total cost of the item to a customer.50 and $3. is a frontrunner in calling for carbon cuts and has been participating in meetings with the U. Companies must begin to realize that business activities can have a significant impact on non-consumers. The fifth element is a focus beyond current consumer needs.0. Jan 2007).586 more on gasoline than a Prius driver.S. Previously produced products will be the “new” materials used to remake products. or because of. Apr 2007). but actually taking steps to increase their future purchasing power. the Prius. On the surface. a utility company operating with 20. including consumers and non-consumers. In India. This $52 billion company is currently focusing on the education of farmers and business owners in developing nations.S. if a consumer drives 15.5 billion last year. The sixth element that needs adjustment is the willingness of firms to manage demand and expectations downwards. these acts do not appear to help the growth of the business. 4 . Due to extra cost saving. today is 24.00 per gallon. Van Wassenhove.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) The fourth element is marketing communication that aims to inform rather than impress.000 miles in a year they will spend $931 annually on gasoline alone. 10 per cent of all tea sales. 2005). Exxon Mobil. This may sound like a negative thing. particularly energy companies. is based upon long-term thinking. (BusinessWeek. Unilever currently accounts for 30 per cent of all spinach sales. Sustainable consumption. The perfectly sustainable company will reach the point that no new materials are needed to produce new products or services. The reasoning behind them.automotive. and governments all over the world are beginning to implement policies that will curb CO2 emissions. companies such as HP are taking steps to reclaim old machines in order to turn them into new ones.000 (http://www. “the transportation sector directly accounted for approximately 27 percent of total U. The Prius currently retails for about $22. Making business decisions that encompass the needs of current and future stakeholders. is an example of a product that sells on cost rather than on price (Kleindorfer. These types of statistics are sparking concerns internationally. Currently. “In Ghana. The eighth and final element of marketing practice that must be reshaped is the amount of responsibility taken by companies. They are still a long way away from being completely sustainable. Unilever is ensuring its continued growth. Peter Darbee. government in order to decide what should be done to cut emissions. and costs associated with energy and waste disposal are non-existent.000 city miles in a year and the price of gasoline stays constant at $2. With the cost of gasoline jumping between $2. is now pushing for federal regulation” (Fortune. By not only educating current and potential consumers. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. total costs. carbon dioxide accounts for 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) (Business 2. The average gas mileage of private transportation vehicles sold in the U. GHG emissions in but “realistic expectations about the nature. The seventh element is an emphasis on cost instead of price. The company “played a big role in getting mandatory controls on greenhouse gases enacted last year in California. It is the current practice of marketers to sell a product based upon the buying price. but their efforts are being imitated throughout the industry. That is an extra $1800 to $4200 reduction in the cost of this product over six years. developing nations account for “40 per cent of the company’s sales and most of its growth” (BusinessWeek. This value is only compounded by the fact that the federal government will provide a tax break to the drivers of hybrid cars ranging from $300 to $700 each year. 2005).epa. As discussed above. Companies.50 per gallon. For example. This is among the most important areas that a green business must focus on “given the lack of environmental literacy amongst consumers” (Crane and Peattie. is a company displaying a commitment to increased environmental responsibility. and CEO. more sustainable consumption. Jan/Feb 2007).000 employees and grossing $12. Transportation is the fastest-growing source of U. a car that can get up to 51 miles per gallon on the highway and 60 in the city will save consumers a considerable amount of money at the pumps. Jan 2007). does not equate to a lack of business success. will play a role in the future green market. a major food supplier. 2005). however.S. Jan 2007). and consequences of consumption and production need to be instigated” (Crane and Peattie. a Prius driver will spend $625 on gasoline each year. but it is the job of truly innovative companies to continue to grow despite. the average car driver will spend $5. margins are becoming larger. it teaches palm oil producers to reuse plant waste while providing potable water to deprived communities.S. but the long-term cost of the car can raise the value to consumers considerably. One oil giant. and is one of the world’s biggest buyers of fish.1 miles per gallon. Unilever staff help thousands of women in remote villages start micro-enterprises” (BusinessWeek. Currently. 2005). After 6 years. Global warming is the perfect example of how business activities can have a negative effect on Singhal. If the average driver travels 15. A good example of this is the efforts put forth by Unilever. The San Francisco based PG&E Corporation. however. Green House Gases and the largest end-use source of CO2” (http://www. Toyota’s petrol-electric hybrid car. are attempting to have a voice in these policies in order to help shape the form that they will take.

4 billion in revenue. it is obvious that an understanding of green business would be advantageous.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) It is clear that many business leaders are looking to go green. This is the impetus for this study. In fact. but welcomed by most. doubted by others. Goldman Sachs. Jan 07).” To date. Jan 07). will hold a competitive advantage over those that lack this understanding. CEO of The Fishin Co.5 billion in cellulosic ethanol. that is beginning to switch to sustainable practices. buying more organic produce. but according to CEO H. it is the role of Universities and other institutions of higher learning to prepare their students to excel in their chosen field. recently stated. Does UW-L prepare its business. Additionally. “The opportunity to provide environmental solutions is going to be one of the big four or five themes of our generation of business” (Fortune.. Wal-Mart has begun to buy into the idea of sustainability. much of which is expected to be brought back to the store. wind. Additionally. It has also reduced the nitrogen oxide (NO) output from ground equipment at its Houston hub by over 25% since 2000. quite literally. Liveris can be quoted as saying. often denigrated for their negative environmental and social impacts. This change is being questioned by some. and vowing to buy and use 100 per cent renewable energy.. Manish Kumar. says. Vice President of communications for Xerox. These actions have caused businesses everywhere to stand up and take notice. The first movers into this growing investment segment will be the ones to gain the most benefits from it. specifically marketing. (a major fish supplier of Wal-Mart). The effort began as a way to clean up Wal-Mart’s often sullied image. little has been given to the costs associated with ignoring this growing trend. Green terminals are currently being built and the company employs a staff of 13 full-time environmental advisors and scientists (Fortune. Lee Scott Jr. the New York based bank with $69. charitable trusts and government pension funds in states such as California and some European countries have pledged to consider sustainability factors in investment decisions. Jeffrey Immelt. It has installed “winglets” that have reduced its emissions by up to five per cent on its Boeing 737s and 757s. and solar power. Natural Resources Defense Council President. mutual funds that are designed to invest in social and environmentally friendly companies reached a value of $178 billion. stated. In 2005. Those individuals that are able to understand the role that green business practices will play in the marketplace. Today’s generation of business students will be the ones that will continue the transition from conventional business to sustainability. while those that fail to make green organizational changes may be left behind. the marketplace is placing an increasing large amount of emphasis on green business. these institutions represent over $4 trillion worth of assets (BusinessWeek. adding $16 billion in market capitalization” (BusinessWeek. Wal-Mart has reduced their energy bills by 17% by switching to energy efficient light bulbs. other businesses tend to go along with it. less packaging used on the Wal-Mart brand toys alone will save $2. “Wal-Mart’s commitment to sell fish certified as caught in sustainable fisheries is doing more to protect stocks than government rules could” (BusinessWeek. Wal-Mart is just one example of a company. Speaking on the idea of Wal-Mart becoming environmentally sustainable. Christa Carone. Continental Airlines has spent $16 billion over the last ten years on green technologies. believes that. Apr 2007). Investment in green businesses is also on the rise. Jan 07). Dow CEO Andrew N. They have built bridges with environmental groups and their efforts have given them the business of Texas Pacific and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as they prepared a bid for a Texas energy company. students for a business world that is rapidly becoming green? Research was done in order to attempt to answer this question. The company began adopting green business practices such as cutting energy use. New York’s Communications Consulting Worldwide (CCW) calculates that “if Wal-Mart had a reputation like that of rival Target Corp. “There is 100% overlap between our business drivers and social and environmental interests” (BusinessWeek. Apr 2007). Apr 2007). Apr 2007). As displayed above. as well as how to successfully develop and implement green policies and processes. according to the trade association Social Investment Forum (BusinessWeek. Jan 07). 5 . Their goal of selling 100 million compact fluorescent light bulbs will bring a savings of $3 billion to their customers. CEO of General Electric. When a leader such as Wal-Mart begins to move in one direction.” There are multiple other examples of industry leaders beginning to make the change over to sustainability. but they have a long way to go. Goldman’s equity analysts in Europe also now include social and environmental factors into their reports (Fortune. “There’s been a shift in thinking and a focus on sustainable innovation and technology” (Global Finance. Though much attention has been given to the benefits of going green. “Their goals are bold. Ideally. For those students who wish to enter into the business world. “We started seeing it as a business strategy. recently invested $1. Jan 07). Justification for Study It is apparent that green business activities will play a prominent role in the future as businesses become more sustainable.4% more. Frances Beinecke. This is an increase from $12 billion in 1995.4 million annually. Overall. its stock would be worth 8.

Brokaw was excluded from these interviews due to his sponsorship of this study. Finch. general information regarding sex. It should be noted that Dr. national. Professors Fields. specifically marketing. 86 were seniors. (Refer to Appendix A to view a paper copy of the survey). A standard Likert scale was used for the majority of questions. each subject was questioned as to whether or not they believe that the business. The faculty interviews were conducted over a period of three weeks. 8 were sophomores. The items on the survey were designed to test the basic knowledge that students have about green marketing and green business practices. MKT 309 is entitled Principles of Marketing and is the introductory marketing course which must be taken by all students enrolled in the school of business. both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Sixteen seniors are enrolled in MKT309. The survey went on to inquire as to the ability of the student to complete writing assignments that identify green business practices. Questions were measured using a variety of scales. Nowicki. Finally. and 1 was a freshman. Majors tended to vary greatly. Due to the qualitative nature of these interviews. Questions concerning the place that green business currently has in the marketplace were asked. major(s) and minor(s) was collected from each respondent. national and international scale. The interviews ranged in length from approximately 20 to 50 minutes. Each subject was also asked to explain the practicality of using green practices on a local. Surveys were developed by the researcher and the faculty sponsor and were administered to the students by their professors via a web based survey program. In total. Chilsen and Achenreiner participated. they were asked to share where this subject should be integrated into the curriculum to provide the most benefit to students. RESULTS The survey data results were received and exported into a data editor after being available to students for three weeks. or strongly disagree. 86 were 6 . the answers given cannot be measured or standardized but may provide a very detailed look into the issue of green business. Each faculty member was asked questions that were designed to allow them to share their perspectives concerning multiple aspects of green business practices and green marketing. The researcher met individually with each faculty member in the Department of Marketing. It should be noted here that not all students reporting as seniors are enrolled in MKT415. 110 were juniors.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) METHOD Two distinct methods were used to assess the value that students and faculty at UW-L place upon green business practices: student surveys and faculty interviews. The faculty interviews were conducted individually in each faculty member’s office. neutral. The surveys were administered to two distinct groups of business students at UW-L. numbers two and five. This reflects the first item in the survey where students were asked to rate how well they believe that UW-L has/will prepare them to excel in the business world. they were asked to elaborate in the following question. They were asked to define green business activities as well as give examples of business activities that could be considered green. Ultimately. were answered using a “Yes/No” scale.” Two questions. regional and international level. agree. Students currently enrolled in MKT 309 range from freshman to seniors and represent multiple disciplines within the university. as well as the direction that it will likely take in the future. An audio recorder was used to make record of the interview and important points were noted later. The possible answers were: strongly agree. grade. and describe why green business may be important in the future. Students in the former group are exclusively seniors graduating in May with a marketing degree. describe their importance on a local. The survey was optional but credit was offered by each individual professor as an added incentive to complete the survey. along with what changes or modifications this integration would necessitate. disagree. 205 students completed the survey. The results of these procedures are reported later. They went on to share their thoughts on whether green business practices could or should be integrated into business strategy on a general scale. The answers were analyzed using statistical methods including frequency tables and independent samples T-Tests. Most are enrolled in the school of business. Each method will be discussed individually. The student surveys consisted of a series of thirteen questions. If the students answered ‘yes’ to either of these. MKT 415 is the senior seminar class for graduating marketing students and is required be taken during the semester directly preceding graduation. students currently enrolled in MKT 415 and students currently enrolled in MKT 309. Of the 205 students. Students were able to use this scale to rate their agreement/disagreement with certain statements such as “I feel as though UW-L has/will sufficiently prepare me to excel in the business world. If the interviewee did not believe that the university places enough emphasis on green business. curriculum at UW-L places a sufficient amount of emphasis on green business issues. Questions were also posed asking students whether or not they believe that they will be involved with any green business practices in the future and whether or not they believe that UW-L has/will sufficiently prepare them for a business world that puts a strong emphasis on green business activities. Of these.

0 Figure 1.” Fifty-one (24.4%) responses that strongly agreed. See figure 1. “I am able to differentiate a green business activity from a conventional business activity.4 27. so of the 145 MKT309 students who completed the survey.” 33 (16.8%) agreed. This will be addressed later. 52 (25.1%) strongly agreed. 56 (27.2%) were neutral and 6 (2. See figure 4.9 100.” A yes/no question was posed inquiring as to the ability of students to define “Green Business Activities” and explain what makes them “green.9%) were not. Valid Strongly Agreee Agree Neutral Disagree Total Frequency 33 143 23 6 205 Percent 16.4 28. Valid Yes No Total Frequency 74 131 205 Percent 36.1 69.” “I am able to differentiate a green business activity from a conventional business activity. “I am able to identify ‘green business’ activities.1 63. Answers to this question will be discussed later.8%) that disagreed. the results for each item are as follows.0 Figure 2. 20 were accounting.1%) that strongly disagreed.4%) that were neutral.3 25. When viewed individually. Valid Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Total Frequency 7 56 52 59 31 205 Percent 3. and the rest were represented by multiple disciplines from both the School of Business and from various other schools.” The second question inquired as to whether or not students are able to give an example of green business activities. The remaining 154 (75.8 11. 26 were marketing majors. Seventy-four (36.9%) disagreed. what a green business activity is. 19 were finance. 22 were business management. 143 (69. “I feel as though UWL has/will sufficiently prepare me to excel in the business world. 23 (11.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) marketing majors.0 Figure 3.9 100. 7 . and 31 (15. When responding to the statement “I feel as though UWL has/will sufficiently prepare me to excel in the business world.1%) were not able to define green business practices.3%) that agreed.1 100.” generated 7 (3. with at least some accuracy.2 2. The 60 seniors graduating in May represented 60 Marketing majors. Frequency tables were generated to determine how students answered the questions overall.9%) were able to define. See figure 2. while 131 (63. 59 (28.8 15.1%) were able to give an accurate example of a green activity. See figure 3.

0 19. 30 (14. See figure 6. 67 (32. “If asked to do so. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that identifies different types of green business activities. “I am able to define ‘green business activities’ and explain what makes them ‘green.0 Figure 6.8%) agreed.2 20.7%) disagreed. See figure 7.5 100.” When responding to the statement. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that describes the importance of green business on a local. 39 (19%) who were neutral.3 22.0 Figure 4.0 33.3%) who strongly agreed.6%) were neutral. Valid Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Total Frequency 19 47 30 67 42 205 Percent 9. See figure 5. 30 (14. national and international scale.” 19 (9. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that identifies different types of green business activities. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that describes why green business practices may be important in the future. Valid Missing Total Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Total System Frequency 13 43 39 68 41 204 1 205 Percent 6. and 41 (20%) who strongly disagreed.2%) strongly agreed.6 32. 68 (33. 59 (28. 47 (22. “If asked to do so. 56 (27. 43 (21%) who agreed. 8 .9 14. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that describes the importance of green business on a local. and 42 (20.1 100.9 75.” had answers of 13 (6.5%) strongly disagreed.0 99.6%) were neutral. and 39 (19%) strongly disagreed.7 20. “If asked to do so.’” “If asked to do so.3%) disagreed. national and international scale.” When students responded to the statement.0 Figure 5.2%) who disagreed.9%) agreed.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) Valid Yes No Total Frequency 51 154 205 Percent 24.3 21.5 100.5 . “If asked to do so.” 21 (10.3%) strongly agreed.

50 (24. See figure 9. “If asked to do so.” 2 (1%) strongly agreed. “I do not believe that I will be involved with any green business activities in the future. when asked to respond to the statement.0 100.1 28. 16 (7.0 Figure 8. sophomores. 111(54.7 24.2 28.3%) strongly disagreed. and juniors composed the other. “There is no difference in agreement with the statement based upon grade classification.1%) were neutral. 0 for “Neutral”.3 19. “I believe that UW-L has/will sufficiently prepare me for a business world that places a strong emphasis on green business activities.” When asked to respond to the statement.7%) were neutral. 108 (52.8%) agreed.” An independent sample T-Test was also run on the data to see if there was a difference between the average responses depending on grade. 1 for “Agree”. 30 (14. and 15 (7.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) Valid Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Total Frequency 21 59 30 56 39 205 Percent 10. 2 for “Strongly Agree”.8%) disagreed . 59 (28.8 6.” Finally.3 100.0 14. “I do not believe that I will be involved with any green business activities in the future. seniors composed one group and freshmen.” 6 (2.6 27.9%) strongly agreed. A point system was assigned to the scale used for questions: -2 for “Strongly Disagree”. -1 for “Disagree”.” It was found that there was a significant 9 . Valid Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Total Frequency 6 16 111 59 13 205 Percent 2. Each question was tested individually with the hypothesis. “I believe that UW-L has/will sufficiently prepare me for a business world that places a strong emphasis on green business activities.4%) disagreed.9 7.8 14. See figure 8.6%) agreed. The senior group was composed of 86 individuals and the other group of 119.8 54.3%) strongly disagreed.0 Figure 7. and 13 (6.6 52.0 Figure 9. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that describes why green business practices may be important in the future. Valid Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Total Frequency 2 30 108 50 15 205 Percent 1. For this test.3 100.4 7.

063 . I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that identifies different types of green business activities. After reviewing each interview.007 Figure 10.582 203 .760 . national and international scale.019 1. It was the opinion of the other that green marketing should receive more attention exclusively in “niche” areas such as Principles of Marketing.546 1. The rationale behind this is that curricular infusion would provide the framework required to delve deeper into green marketing issues. stressed that a class designed to cover green marketing in great detail would not be successful unless green marketing was first infused throughout other areas of the curriculum.707 Sig. Buyer Behavior. Equal variances assumed Equal variances assumed 2.6279 and -.424 .583 .475 203 . Specific recommendations as to how to best go about doing this will be discussed later.156 . 10 .749 . “I believe that UW-L has/will sufficiently prepare me for a business world that places a strong emphasis on green business activities.189 df 203 Sig. however. T-Tests of average responses based upon grade grouping. it is quite apparent that the marketing faculty at UW-L believe that more emphasis should be placed on teaching green marketing.155 Equal variances not assumed I do not believe that I will be involved with any green business activities in the future. and the means for the other group were -.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) difference between the two groups’ agreement for the statements. If asked to do so. (2-tailed) .710 182.850 . Both. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that identifies different types of green business activities.802 1.115 Equal variances assumed .982 1.300 203 .748 203 . See figure 10. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that describes the importance of green business on a local.479 2.001 . Four out of five professors believe that green marketing should be integrated more heavily throughout the marketing and business curriculums. Two believed that green marketing was important enough to warrant the creation of a class centered upon it. If asked to do so.362 202 .142 Equal variances assumed .4070. Equal variances assumed Equal variances assumed Equal variances assumed .” It was found that the means for seniors were -.384 1. Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances F I feel as though Uwl has/will sufficiently prepare me to excel in the business world.” and.019 and . I believe that UWL has/will sufficiently prepare me for a business world that places a strong emphasis on green business activities. respectively. . and Marketing Management. It is clear that faculty members believe that green marketing is important enough to include more prominently in the curriculum. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that describes why green business practices may be important in the future.446 2.2288 and -. The mean differences were .426 203 .315 and the P-Values for each test were . “If asked to do so.099 .399 and .007. I am able to differentiate a green business activity from a conventional business activity If asked to do so.193 t-test for Equality of Means T -.0924 for each question.366 .

“I should be teaching the green side of things and that it is not necessarily a cost.” and. The answers themselves varied significantly and ranged from very general examples such as “recycling” to very specific ones such as “UPS using alternative fuel trucks. that agreed that they are able to differentiate a green business activity from a conventional business activity. it is safe to assume that most students will be exposed or involved with green business in the future. 59 (28.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) DISCUSSION It should be noted that many students reported a “neutral” response to the questions. “Green Business Activities are methods. Additional research is necessary to support this hypothesis. that seniors reported feeling more prepared for a business world that places a large emphasis on green marketing due to the fact that they have received more education and ideally should be more prepared to enter into the market. do not agree (24. “If asked to do so. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that identifies different types of green business activities.7%). This left 52 (25. did not care to answer. The third item on the survey gave students an opportunity to give up to three examples of green business activities. It was the opinion of the researcher that a neutral response should be included for students who did not understand the question.3%) students that either did not care or know how to respond. for a combined total of 63 students (30.7%). It was the opinion of one professor that.” and. “I wish I would teach it more.4%) students who were neutral. If the greening of business continues (and there is no reason to believe that it will not). policies or other business activities that are done for the purpose of being environmentally safe and friendly within a company. I do it as an afterthought.” It should be noted that the senior group had an average response that was higher than those of the combined other grades. as stated above.” As discussed earlier.” The survey results show that the majority of students either do not believe that they will be involved with green business activities in the future or do not know/care. It was interesting to see that there was a statistically significant difference in the average level of agreement between the two grade groups for two items.” while another concluded the interview with the comment. it costs us not to do it. Of these.1%) who strongly disagreed that they are able to differentiate the two types of activities. “I should have done it on my own… the University doesn’t push it very much. As the above results indicate. 51 students provided a definition and an explanation.” were two notable comments made by faculty members. This combines for a total of 142 (69. Something that is “green” may help to reduce the amount of pollution a firm puts into the air or conserving energy on a daily basis. only 56 students agreed (27. Overall. “I believe that UW-L has/will sufficiently prepare me for a business world that places a strong emphasis on green business activities.” 11 . were. 15 provided two and 30 were able to provide three examples. or strongly do not agree (7. “The faculty is of a mind to do this. reasons for this difference cannot be determined by this study but may be an issue which could be addressed at a later time. “They are environmentally friendly. The items. faculty members generally believed that green marketing deserves increased integration into the business curriculum at UW-L. With current industry leaders moving toward sustainability. or honestly did not know how to answer. 29 were able to provide one. Neutral answers were included in the analysis to avoid bias created by forcing students to express an agreement level to a statement that does not accurately reflect their true level of agreement. “Green Business Activity” and provide a brief explanation of what makes these activities “green.6%) agree (or strongly agree) that UW-L has sufficiently prepared them for such a business world.3%) and 7 strongly agreed (3. One professor immediately commented that the university should. “This is too important of a topic to wait. As discussed above.8%) who disagreed and 31(15.4%). The rest are neutral (52. it seems that the students who completed the survey were not very knowledgeable about green business. It is the opinion of the researcher. A variety of reactions were recorded including overt enthusiasm displayed through comments such as. The answers ranged from very concise. 74 students provided at least one example. Additionally. such as.” while others lamented not including enough of it. however.” One expressed a wish to begin teaching it in their classes. Only 22 students (10. it is likely that the current generation of business students will be employed in a business world that places a very strong emphasis on green business.” The sixth item on the survey allowed students to provide a definition of the term. “It would be so cool!” to a direct approach as to how it should be done.4%). UW-L may have to consider changing its curriculum in order to better prepare students for this change. Only 32 students (15.” to lengthy and detailed. “Treat it more matter of fact than as exceptional. or did not believe that they could differentiate green business activities from conventional ones.7%) agree or strongly agree that they will be involved with green business activities in the future. Considering the trend toward green practices that was highlighted earlier. As discussed earlier. It doesn’t cost us to do it.3%). A test was not run to determine the significance of this due to the fact that this is a separate research question and does not directly affect the conclusions drawn by this study.

Promotions and Advertising Management. This course is currently taught by Professor Tom Eggert and meets once weekly. and the Senior Seminar. As one UWL professor stated. Students assume that they can go to one class to learn about green practices. This study concentrated specifically on the marketing curriculum at UW-L. because the research conducted dealt exclusively with marketing classes. Each of these classes provides an opportunity to integrate green marketing into the curriculum from a unique. green issues must receive more attention. supply chains. A recurring theme of green business concepts will provide a step-based approach so that green practices can become “matter of fact rather than exceptional. 300. The researcher recommends the addition of one of the most creatively written literary pieces of our time which addresses the issue of sustainable business into the required course reading. The class could be teamtaught. All business majors at UWL are required to complete this course. MKT 309 currently covers green marketing. Seuss. Industrial Marketing and Transportation. Such a course could provide insight into green practices and how they relate to management. The first is the creation of a 300 level business class that could be offered as an elective and would be centered on the concept of sustainable business practices. One or two assignments could be added to this class in order to get students thinking about how green practices may affect business from a holistic approach. economics.Madison’s Environmental Strategy and Sustainability course. but this coverage is limited to a definition and possibly an example. “People have to be taught green right from the beginning. it is contained in a single class. It provides a basic look into business topics such as. Further concentration of green marketing into the course content will not lead to this subject becoming the central point of the class. Providing examples of green practices as they relate to the currently covered subjects may be the most effective way to illustrate to students that green practices are not an isolated topic to be covered in the second week of class. it may be the class where the integration of green topics is the most essential. Website). but each class period a guest speaker is invited to speak to the class about sustainability. but equally important. Students would be responsible for analyzing the business practices of the narrator and providing recommendations as to how the problems encountered in the book could have been avoided. The specializations of the speakers vary from public policy to environmental architecture. in essence. a base can be established in order to ensure consistency between disciplines. This is the class that essentially paves the way for the other marketing classes. approach is curricular infusion. government.” It is evident that if the university wants to prepare students to excel in the business world. Another idea would be to model the class after the University of Wisconsin. Those that figure it out [now] are going to be the stronger competitors in the marketplace. it is the job of the University to. These are: Principals of Marketing. Marketing Management. Professional Selling and Sales Management. 12 . perspective. The second. “the marketing environment.” As illustrated above. “It should be integrated into current classes… It wouldn’t replace anything currently in the curriculum. The Lorax by Dr. marketing. The integration of green business curriculum could take one of two forms. in order to fully incorporate the many disciplines that would need to be represented. Recommendations will be made as to the best way to integrate green business into the curriculum. Since this class is required of all business majors. recommendations concerning green marketing education will focus on these courses. and by default. marketing ethics and the international dimension of marketing strategy” (UWL Marketing Dept. This. From there. The first class that marketing students are required to take is MKT 309: Principles of Marketing. Market Research. Buyer Behavior. the university.” Doing so will also avoid the danger of offering a high level business class centered on green business to a group of students that have not had any previous experience with them. This type of class provides a holistic approach to green business. Further integration of green business topics would benefit business students. so any implementation of green business into the curriculum should begin in the marketing department. The goal is to not create a closet for this subject. International Marketing. but has one weakness.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) GREEN MARKETING EDUCATION AT UW-L It can be concluded from this study that UW-L does not place a sufficient amount of emphasis on green business practices. public policy. 200. has created a “closet” for green business education at UW Madison. The university [should be] the primary teacher of this…The future is in green marketing [and] we’ve barely scratched the surface. and overall corporate strategy. As one of the professors at UW-L stated. but may not believe that the topics taught in it are applicable in their other classes.” Another believed that. if not group taught. green business is applicable to all parts of business strategy and should be treated as such. and 400 level classes. However. “educate our future business leaders now. Recommendations There are currently nine classes required to earn a degree in Marketing from UW-L. and preferable. It should be integrated into the curriculum at all levels including 100. It is possible to integrate green marketing further without detracting from the value of other topics. marketing strategies and decision-making.

international marketing. This is where a discussion of value propositions can most easily be tied into green marketing. or an introductory look at supply chains. It is up to students to begin to explore the possibilities of green marketing and determine for themselves where green practices would fit into their marketing plan. It is the responsibility of the faculty of the Department of Marketing to provide students with the necessary education to excel in the business world: a world that is quickly becoming green. Braungart and W. If sufficient emphasis has been placed on green marketing. is among the most crucial areas to cover. Place and Promotion. as in the case of HP. or a combination of the two. As with any other business activity. Green products are numerous and range from shoes to building materials. supply chain members. This text may serve as a reference for students and professors who wish to further integrate green practices into business strategy. students should have little difficulty integrating at least some green practices into their marketing plan. Place. This section of the course teaches students to position a product favorably in the minds of consumers. LIMITATIONS This paper was not able to address the reasons behind why different grade groupings had significantly different average responses concerning the level of agreement with some survey items. This is where it should be important to stress to students that being green is good. The assignment could be modified so that at least one section of the plan is done in a sustainable way. market research. may be necessary. At the end of the course. Coverage should include sustainable supply chain activities. promotions. Related assignments could be identifying green products in the marketplace or determining main differences between green products and conventional products in different areas. An in-depth analysis of past. but it will not necessarily benefit the firm if no one knows about it.” For further explanation of this concept refer to Cradle to Cradle by M. Based upon the recommendations for MKT 309. particularly those that serve to regulate the environmental activities of business. Recyclable products will be the main point to stress. the concept of promotion could easily incorporate more green themes. Assignments concerning place could have students compare conventional supply chain activities with green supply chain activities.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) MKT 309 is also the course where students are first introduced to the marketing mix. This is done not with the intent to create more work for students but to encourage them to think critically about the concept of green marketing. Price. but as a business concept that can be integrated into marketing strategy in a multitude of ways. Currently. and marketing management may be the responsibility of the faculty of UW-L. Going into further detail as to how green marketing applies to sales. there are times when it will work well and times when it will not. An analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each could be done in order to encourage students to begin thinking about how sustainable practices may benefit a firm. and the concept of a “cradle to cradle” product life rather than the conventional “cradle to grave. power generation. Products will be among the easiest green topic to illustrate. the course covers each of these topics in detail and shows the part that each must play in order to properly execute a marketing strategy. These plans should effectively utilize all four Ps of the marketing mix. current and future governmental policies. This could focus on costs to end consumers. the class is split into groups and asked to develop a marketing plan for a product or service. Currently. or the four “Ps” of marketing: Product. McDonough. A step by step coverage of what determines the pricing of a green product. green products are often bought at a premium price. such as recycling. The reason for this is that each professor at UW-L is an expert in their field and as such would be better suited to determine what would be the best way to integrate green marketing into classes. it is not difficult to imagine how the more advanced marketing courses could continue to build upon green marketing lessons. A discussion of why this is should be incorporated into the curriculum. The way a product is made often has the largest environmental impact. the green consumer market is rapidly growing and those firms who are able to effectively promote their green products will be successful. Further research could be undertaken to determine the reason for these differences. may need to be performed 13 . Goods that can be reused at a lower cost than it would take to create new ones can provide a competitive advantage to a firm. Getting this point across to students should be the ultimate goal of further integrating green marketing into MKT 309 classes at UW-L. Additionally. conventional products in different product areas. green buildings. industrial marketing. Finally. from birth to rebirth. the subject of governmental regulation as they relate to business operations was only briefly touched upon. This area should also stress that price is not as important as cost when selling green products. Students should think of green marketing not as a business case. As discussed above. An example of a possible assignment would be for students to assess the overall cost of green products vs. Possible assignments could be to find examples of green advertisements.

2007 Environmental Protection Agency.. W. Myth. Ryan. K.M. 4 April.”.. “Green is Good”. R.epa. D. C. 60. 155. Mintu. “Green Marketing: Legend... T. H. Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development.Please Select -- 3.. A. “A Question of Principles”. BusinessWeek Issue 4019 Jan. 29.. 8 No. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to use this opportunity to thank those students who completed the survey that made this report possible. Iss. Springer 2005 Green. Murphy./Feb.. the class recommendation. Sims. 2007 Braungart. I am able to identify "green" business activities. O.Yang. REFERENCES / LITERATURE CITED Boyle. Peattie. “Beyond the Green Corporation”. Finally. Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. J.. Outside Vol. I feel as though UWL has/will sufficiently prepare me to excel in the business world. Schwartz. If you answered "Yes" to question 2. 2006 Engardio. “Sustainable Operations Management”. as mentioned above. Meadows.. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all faculty members of the Department of Marketing for their cooperation... McDonough. A. insight and encouragement. 1.. N.. Business 2. A. 1 Jan. K..0 Vol.. 4 Lozada. Gunther. 21 No 4 April. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. D. University of Wisconsin: Madison. Randers. Environmental Strategy and Sustainablity: Course Syllabus.. M. Taylor. 1987 Crane.. E. M.* Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2. J. “Go Green. United Nations.* -. North Point Press 2002 “Brundtland Report”.gov/otaq/greenhousegases.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) in order to better understand the trend of green business. The Lorax... C. 2007 APPENDIX Appendix A: Survey: Green Business Marketing at UWL Green Business Education at UWL Page 1 I appreciate you taking the time to fill out this survey. 2007 Meadows. “Green Giants”. 2004 Geisel. XXXII No.L.htm Felton. L. Van Wassenhove. 14 .. 6 April 2. http://www. P. Cohen. “Green Marketing Education: A Call for Action”. Gimbel. No. 2005 Eggert. support... T. 2007 Kleindorfer. merely served as a guide and does not reflect any actual changes that will be made to the course. please give 1-3 examples of green business activities. 1990 M. Get Rich. Singhal. “Teaching Business Ethics: Targeted Outputs”. Journal of Business Ethics Vol. Farce or Prohesy?” Emerald Group Publishing. Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. Muncie: Winter 2005 Vol. 14. Random House 1971 Taylor. B. Fortune Vol. P. Global Finance Vol. P. M. Any changes to the curriculum are at the discretion of the faculty. Chelsea Green Publishing.

Describes why green business practices may be important in the future. If you answered "Yes" to question 5.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) Enter at least 1 response. I do not believe that I will be involved with any green business activities in the future. 8." 7.* Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 9. I am able to define "Green Business Activities" and explain what makes them "green. Describes the importance of green business on a local."* Yes No 6. I believe that UWL has/will sufficiently prepare me for a business world that places a strong emphasis on green business activities. 1 2 3 4. please define "Green Business Activities" and explain what makes them "green.* 15 .* Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 5. national and international scale. I am able to differentiate a green business activity from a conventional business activity. If asked to do so. I would be able to complete a one page writing assignment that:* Strongly Agree Identifies different types of green business activities.

Please Select -- Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 11. Major(s)* 1 2 Sophomore Junior Senior 13.Gilbert UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research X (2007) Strongly Agree 10. Minor 1 2 3 16 . Sex* -. Grade* Freshman 12.